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Solid week over ‘ere, strong ciders and storming live debuts ++ at Cafe Oto last Saturday night - massive thanks to that talented bunch on stage and all who came down! Massive get it up ya to the plums who snuck in without paying and whoever it was that didn’t cough up for their drinks tab - no darling, it wasn’t us!
Anyway hypothetical fire-starting and classik mancunian death-trips to see you through - spoilt for choice this week. Until next time! 
LC xxx

THE FALL
BEND SINISTER / THE "DOMESDAY PAY-OFF" TRIAD-PLUS!
BEGGARS ARKIVE | 2LP | £19.99

BLEURRRRGH!!!!!! That’ll be the sound of 50,000 Fall fans/bores coughing out their dentures when we say that 1986’s jet-black space-punk death-trip Bend Sinister is their greatest LP bar none. More than that, it's easily among the four or five greatest rock’n’roll records EVER MADE. No YOU fuck off. This was the third and final Fall LP with John Leckie attempting to impose mixing desk order, and a reliably paranoid Smith railed at the swampy, trippy feel he was convinced the producer was smuggling in. That tension was presumably key to bringing about this most satisfying iteration of the Fall sound - murky but never muddy, lean and propulsive but almost Flying Nun WIDE, with Steve Hanley’s locomotive basslines flattening everything in their path. It’s also the pinnacle of Brix’s contribution to the group, her unmistakeable VYBZ all over the Lonely Surfer squall of ‘R.O.D.’ and slashing bubblegum riffage of ‘Terry Waite Sez’. Dunno if the received wisdom that this is the Fall’s “gothiest” record holds water - it's just a bit of a moody bastard, not least on the bleakly poetic ‘Gross Chapel - G.B. Grenadiers’ and cruise-control comedown classic ‘Living Too Late’ ("Crow's feet are ingrained on my face...") and their are occasional echoes of McGeogh’s Siouxsie juju in Brix and Scanlon’s locked-antler guitar damage. But these darker innervisions are offset, if not outnumbered, by moments of uninhibited JOY: chief among them the ragged cover of the Other Half’s ‘66 ode to getting twatted, ‘Mr Pharmacist’, which twists whimsical West Coast psychedelia into rowdy terrace-chant while also serving as a gloriously literal expression of Smith's underlying avant-garage agenda. BOOF. Remastered gatefold double-LP with a raft of bonus B-sides strapped on. This is the first and almost certainly the last time we will bother to recommend a Fall reissue to you. Forget everything else they did, just listen to THIS, on repeat, forever. "Watch out! Makers of fads / It's MES in shoulder pads..."

NATE YOUNG
VOLUME ONE: DILEMMAS OF IDENTITY
LOWER FLOOR MUSIC | LP | £17.99

Ruff n tumble slasher-cinematics from Wolf Eyes’ QB Nate Young - a hooliganistik ID crisis that is every bit as streetwise as it is atmospheric, “Dilemmas Of Identity” drags it’s knuckles through yelping industrial self-assessment and barges into a mutant techno soundtrack to some misunderstood youth skulking around a concrete jungle, setting empty shipping containers on fire (maybe). Imaginative, synthesised vandalism that is quite a stretch from the plasmic studio madness and droning malnourishment of the EXCELLENT Regression series, this first volume of Young’s latest direction coming very much swaggering outta isolation with A LOT to say.

The crackin' artwork (also by Young) sizes it up pretty perfectly, minimalist approach yielding VAST and varied communication - tracks like “Mindless Voices” sounding a bit like Cabaret Voltaire doing an instrumental of “Seconds Too Late” with their chins up - sitting next to the pensive, night bus gloom-core of “Pardon The Mess” and demented piano lament on "Vents Of Blue" - our personal highlight, the acid-dashin’ STREETWALKER that is “The Weeping Babe” and it’s sinister beat-machine menace. When ingested as a whole, the album begins to channel a similar atmosphere (perhaps in a sturdier, tech-wise style) to the all time shut-in shunter - “FAULI TIL DAULI” (when are any of you reissue wurmz gonna sort THAT one out, eh?!) - both laying down monophonic smak-tracks that have the attitude of a thousand rat’s arses AND an almost automatic, inner-mind sensitivity, without any particularly colourful studio equipment. BANGER.

VOX POPULI!
HALF ALIVE GANJA MUSIC
COR ARDENS | CD | £11.99

MORE Half Dead Ganja Music?! Shove this in ur vape and smog it - new imprint Cor Ardens answers the prayers of all humble worshippers to Vox Populi’s 1987 triumph by getting up close and personal with the groups founders to unearth further, lost studio and live cuts that never saw the light of day, now presented as “Half Alive Ganja Music”.

Ever since Spencer Clark slapped together the vinyl reissue of HDGM in 2013 it has sat firmly at the top of our pile, with the thought always present that if the house were to tragically catch fire and we for some reason, categorically decided we could only escape with ONE reissue from the last decade - we would watch with a shallow, ambivalent grin as all other revived esoterica melted into an indistinguishable dollop - deeply content in the knowledge that we still had our paws on this indispensable, vampiric-industrial meditation.

Yeah, a serious game changer for us, so excuse us as we wipe the drool from our jaw in the wake of new routes - Half ALIVE Ganja Music gets high on the cinders of our burning abode and provides a welcome macro-dose of SEVENTEEN burnt-ends (including an epic 12 min live improvisation) - spanning the breadth and depth of the original release, dabbling in realms of psychedelic, nosferatu folk, engulfing feedback swells and paranormal synthesiser ascensions that never drift into the trappings of the polite and pyjama-clad, NO CHANCE. These lost boys n girls have bite - even by the second track on this collection, “Ala Okie”, you are welcomed back to all the growling gristle and frantic percussion of Half Dead, Mithra’s vocal enchantments gently hovering in the ether, forming what, to us at least, is the signature sound of VP! - HAUNTING, mystical beauty that no amount of faded photo’s the whole crew in the rustic, French countryside would make you believe that you are hearing music from this dimension. Proper vibes-akimbo on this one, not enough in-shoppe superlatives to even touch the sides on this beast - endless thanks to Jim Strong for digging this up and the ever on-it Nick horn o' plenty for alerting us to it’s existence - would recommend this to anyone who is even a tenth alive.

Also arrived from Cor Ardens - killer cassette comp feat unreleased tracks from Blue Chemise, Yixuan Pan, Jim Strong +++. Presented in laser-cut wood cover - bosh! 

LEIGHTON CRAIG
DIAMOND EYE
BRUIT DIRECT DISQUES | LP | £16.99

Lonely rafts of song bobbing on a sea of pink (?), foamy, minimal electronics - this spot-on new solo side from Oz career outsider Leighton Craig (one half of the excellent, underrated Primitive Motion and alumnus of noise-rock puzzlers/legends Lost Domain) - has an extremely gentle, private, almost post-traumatic feel, reminding us a little bit of Brunnen’s wispy Valium-ballads, the rural stargazing of Hood and Flying Saucer Attack or, closer to home, the most desperately yearning, burned-out moments of Michael Morley’s Gate... Creeps up on you... got a feeling this is one we’re gonna be talking about again come end of year.
VARIOUS ARTISTS
SPORTS
YOUTH | CD | £9.99

thhhporthh! Knock tha wind out ya comp of contemporary club tackle - turbulent beat tracks from the likes of FUMU and Shamos as well as a hissing, ballistic MISSILE from unknown producer LDWG - their contribution sounding like Footsie and Shiken Hanzo met at the genius bar and decided to start sharing a hard drive, at least until a seductive, vocal incantation drops in and propels “DRM1MKII” into a club-sphere totally of it’s own.

There’s also heaps of high-grade ambient, acid-smattered techno on offer from cautioned YOUTH Yugen Disciple and lord-of-the-dust Kassem Mosse, the chill-oot party thoroughly crashed by carefully placed, abrasive beat disruptions from the likes of Sensu and Turinn and shop fave Iueke’s hypno-percussive court dance. Deadly! Limited edition CD, 150 copies.

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